It’s increasingly rare that people like us look at a car and think ‘what the hell is that thing?!’ But that’s exactly what happened to me yesterday when I came across this curious little Kei car unicorn at a driving event at Millbrook proving ground.
It’s called the Suzuki SC100 GX Whizzkid and it’s awesome for all the right reasons; it’s shaped like a blunt box (that’s called retro cool ), it weighs no more than seven men at 655kg, and it’s rear-engined and rear-wheel drive.
Behind all the vents sits a 970cc, water cooled, four cylinder engine with 47bhp and 62lb ft of torque. The Whizzkid will hit 62mph in 16.5 seconds and has a top speed of 87mph.
Inside, you really get a sense of how small this 1982 Suzuki is. At only 3.2 metres long and 1.2 metres wide (by comparison, a Mk1 MX-5 is around 4 metres long and 1.7 metres wide), you sit shoulder to shoulder with the passenger and will stroke his or her knee with every awkward gear change.
Driving the Whizzkid around a purpose-made city course in Millbrook is crazy fun. The skinny and small tyres screech their way around corners, and if you enter in too hot, the back kicks loose.
Changing gear smoothly is difficult because you have to depress the clutch fully (as in right to the floor), and if you have to make an emergency stop, you’re better off jumping out of the car and barrel rolling to safety; the brakes are spongy and don’t do much in the way of reducing velocity, but that’s all part of the charm.
The steering, meanwhile, is exactly how you’d expect: disconnected, scary to use and not up to much. Again, think charm…
Under the bonnet, you’ll find a dinky trunk and a couple of fluid bottles; that’s your lot. If you’ve got anything bigger to carry, you’ll be taking it on the passenger seats.
My experience with the brilliant little Suzuki Whizzkid was crazy fun, and I’d implore anyone who gets the chance to drive one to not hesitate. It was so good, in fact, that I’ve already organised a day-long loan of the car so that we can shoot an entertaining video review.
If you’ve got any suggestions of what we should do for a video, then let me know! Similarly, if you want to tell me how awesome you think it is too, then I’m all ears.